Small business start-ups, brand, company image and branding recognition within cultures.
Let's start with a little quiz. Don't worry-I'm going to give you the answers along with the questions. Ready? Okay.
Think of this image-thin blue lines running through three white capital letters. Do you see IBM? Now picture an icon of an apple, Does Apple Computers come to mind? Now picture a cute little kid singing "0h, I'd love to be an..." Did you finish the song with "Oscar Meyer wiener?"
These companies have successfully burned their image and branding into the minds of America.
It's not just companies that play with our heads. Imagine a skinny old man with a long white goatee.
He's wearing a white top hat with a blue band and the band has stars on it.
He's got a blue topcoat on, with a red bow tie. He's got a very stern look on his face, and he's pointing his finger right at YOU. Good old "Uncle Sam" (U.S.=Uncle Sam...get it?) appeared in political cartoons early in our countys history and the government first used him to recruit for the Army during World War I.
There is a difference between image and branding.
Basically, "image' is the picture a company portrays to the world. It gives their potential customers an idea of just who and what the company is all about, When most people think of image, they think "logo," but there's a lot more to it than that.
A common mistake that start-up companies (and even some older, more established firms) make is not giving enough (or any) thought to their image. They usually come up with some sort of logo, or present the company name in some sort of fancy typeface, and then leave it at that.
When it comes to designing your business's image, there's just one thing to remember-leave it to the professionals.
Unless you are starting up a communications company, your area of expertise is not design. During the 1980's, when computer services were springing up like daffodils in May, a proliferation of thin blue lines running through three white capital letters sprouted up to everybody wanted to be IBM.
You might think your dog is cute, but a cartoon of him as the logo for your accounting firm might not be the best way to convey your image to the public.
A design professional
A design professional will sit down with you and get your ideas, find out what type of image you want to present (Professional? Fun-loving? Creative and easy-going? Avant-garde? High tech?) and will design a "corporate image for you,
The package should include not only a logo, but also, at minimum, a basic typeface (font) to use in written communications, letterhead, business cards, envelopes, and a palette of colors that complement each other. 0nce you have a basic corporate image package, stick to it and make sure your employees do, as well.
Presenting a consistent and business-appropriate image to the public ensures that your business looks professional and established.
Next- Branding Continuity, Messaging and Cultural Nuances